Saturday, March 31, 2012

Painted Black by Deb Borys: Character Interview & Excerpt

Jo Sullivan just wanted some new material for her column in Winds of Change, a weekly rag willing to dust the dirt off the seamier side of Chicago. Then she meets fifteen-year-old Lexie Green, with her haunting eyes, eerie tale, and the terror that sends the girl fleeing into the night. When Lexie disappears, Jo finds herself haunted by her own dark past and unable to ignore the anonymous faces of youth on the streets, Together with Cry, a street graffiti artist and friend of Lexie, Jo uncovers a path littered with corpses, corporate greed and one man's private collection of freeze-dried cadavers.

Christopher Robert Young, Cry for short, told himself he went with Lexie to keep her safe, that it had nothing to do with his struggle to avoid hustling along the harbor like Moon and the others. Selling blow jobs for forty bucks, however, pales in comparison to what he finds in Cole's apartment above the funeral home. And even a hungry kid will only go so far to fill his stomach. In the ensuing struggle, Chris escapes but Lexie does not and that fact still haunts him.

Sidney Cole’s fascination with death has soothed him since childhood. Since the first dead pigeon he kept in a shoe box under his bed so he could stroke the downy feathers, to the first failed experiment in human sublimation he should have disposed of–but didn’t. He just wants to be left alone with his collection, and his fantasies. And Philip Quinlan had promised him peace.

Excerpt from Painted Black Chapter 44

Seth Koplin led them past tables lined against the wall and in a row down the middle. A few diners looked up and greeted them with nods or smiles.  With few exceptions, Jo couldn't tell for sure who was staff and who a resident.

"Here we are," Koplin said, stopping.  "Lucky us, to find empty seats at Samuel Walker's table.  Move yourself on over by Mojo there, Spike.  Samuel here's got some company to keep."

He shooed away a lean, leather-skinned man who looked like he should be wearing a cowboy hat.  Samuel looked up in surprise, but no alarm.  Jo could tell he didn't remember her so she smiled as she placed her tray across from him and sat down.  Koplin sat at a table across the aisle from them and started up a conversation of his own with the men there.

"Mr. Walker," Jo said.  "It's nice to meet you again.  I'm Jo Sullivan.  We talked yesterday at the Sandwich Stop."

Samuel's face cracked into a smile, though there was still no recognition in his eyes. "Pleased to make your acquaintance."  He reached across to shake her hand, then did the same to Jack who nodded and said simply, "Jack Prescott, Mr. Walker."

Samuel cackled.  "No need to call me mister."  He nudged the man sitting next to him.  "What you think there, Billy Ray, they be calling me mister?"  They both laughed.  "Samuel'll do just fine."  He turned back to Jo.  "That's right, now--you be the girl was talkin' with the young boy there that night."  He shook his head sadly and plowed his fork through the layers of food on his plate.  "See that boy on the corner every night, I do," he said past a mouthful of mashed potatoes.

"Samuel--" Jo sucked surprisingly tasty chicken grease off her fingers before continuing.  "You said the other night that you knew Tommy Piper. Remember?."

"Why you be askin' me about the Brit?  He still dead, ain't he?"  He rocked with laughter at his own joke.  Billy Ray and two other men at the table grinned their appreciation as well.

"He's dead all right," Jo said.  "And laid out all pretty and well groomed in a glass coffin."

That earned her a bit of attention.  Everyone at the table leaned forward to listen as she described Tommy's eternal rest, stirring a few laughs and guffaws for her flowery narrative.

"Well, don't that beat all," Samuel said when she was done, wiping a gleeful tear from the corner of his eye.  "Don't that just?  He were a fine one, he were, always talking 'bout what a fancy life he lived once.  Made a body just about believe the man, that's for shore.  Well, if it weren't true then, sounds like it be so now." 

That produced another round of laughter at the table.  A few men out of earshot looked over at them curiously, wondering what they were missing.

"The reason I'm asking about Tommy," Jo said when the laughter settled down again, "is because a girl named Lexie Green told me that before he died he said someone had been following him.  And now Lexie is missing.  I'm trying to find out if there's some connection between the two or if it's just coincidence."

"Ain't no coincidence in life," Samuel answered, serious now, fork motionless, lines on his forehead frowning over his white, wild eyebrows.  "The Lord has a plan.  I believes that.  Can't tell it, maybe, to look at me, but He has a plan even for such as me. 'We have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.' Ephesians 1:11.  That girl missin' even. He got a plan for that too."

He studied Jo for a second before spearing a brussels sprout and trailing it through the gravy on his plate.  "Why you care 'bout where this girl be?"  He popped the dripping vegetable into his mouth
Jo felt Jack looking closely at her.

"Somebody should," she said.  "Her mother doesn't.  Her aunt doesn't even know she exists, pretty much.  The police brush it off like she's a fly trying to land on their jelly donut. It's the same reason, maybe, that Seth here runs this shelter.  Or Jack quit his job to work for Night Moves.  Because it's something I feel I need to do, is all."

Samuel cocked one eyebrow and waved his fork at her, another gravy coated sprout skewered by the tines.  "Cause it's in His plan," he said triumphantly.  "It be all His doing, see.  Wait and see.  It's true."

"I only know that I want to figure out part of this plan before something happens to Lexie.  Or if it's too late for that, before some other kid ends up missing."  Jo thought of the attack on Chris in the alley, the fight with Cole in the parking lot.  Too many close calls to her way of thinking.  Too many coincidences.  She had little or no faith in Samuel's grand 'plan,' but she generally tended to agree that there was no such thing as coincidence.


Tell us how you became a journalist and what you like about your job with Winds of Change?

            When I was about five or so, my dad took me to the newspaper office where he worked in Des Moines, Iowa.  It was a small paper and this was before the industry got so high tech.  There was chaos and the smell of ink all around me.  Or maybe I couldn’t really smell ink, but when I go back in my memory it always seems like I could.  There was this high level of energy at all the desks, people talking on the phones and calling to each other across the room.  Some little kids might have been scared by it all, but it just made me happy.  Or maybe hyper would be a better word.  That was the first time I knew I wanted to do that when I grew up.

            Maybe it was also a little bit of wanting to grow up to be like my dad at first.  We don’t have that kind of relationship anymore, or any kind of relationship really, but I don’t like talking about that.  My first real job, not counting high school or college newspapers was when I was awarded an internship with the Chicago Tribune.  Things had changed a lot in the industry by then, plus a big press like that is a whole lot different than the romantic picture I had in my head.  It was a good experience for the most part, I guess, and I learned a lot, even if mostly I learned that my boss had roving hands.  But when I applied for the opening at Winds of Change it was with the idea of getting back to that idyllic picture I had of what a newspaperman looks like (or woman, I guess I should say).

            But wow, was I surprised by how the change of jobs has changed me.  It started as just another step in my career, you know?  In addition to covering the cop beat and other stories assigned to me, they wanted me to continue a column they had called Street Stories.  The purpose of the column was to make street people visible as human beings, instead of the scourge of society like so many people think.  Each story focuses on one individual person, and I found that by writing them, I started focusing on the individual person.  They weren’t just stories anymore; they were the vet who got brain damaged by an IED, or the teenager who got kicked out because the family couldn’t afford to feed her anymore. 


Can you tell us about one of these stories that illustrate why you feel they are so important?

            Recently I spent a lot of time with this graffiti artist, Cry.  His real name is Christopher Robert Young, but he signs his work CRY so that’s how he got his nickname.  If you just passed him on the street, he looks like this wise-mouthed punk.  I guess there’s a part of him that is that.  Some people call graffiti art, but most call it vandalism.  And when I first met Chris, well, let’s just say he was headed down some very iffy roads just trying to get by and because, quite frankly, a lot of these kids give up hope and lose self esteem after they’ve been on the streets too long.

            But this sixteen-year-old, who’d taken care of his mom and little sisters before he left home, has more heart than any well-raised, affluent suburbanite I know.  He risked his life trying to help us find his missing friend, Lexie Green.  A lot of kids wouldn’t have cared at all, let along become actively involved.  When we found out Lexie had been murdered, I thought it would break his heart, but in an essay he wrote about it, he showed it did the opposite.  It made him more determined than ever to get off the street and turn his life around.

I understand you lead a writer’s workshop at the Night Moves youth shelter.  Can you tell us a little bit about what the kids do there?

            What we do depends on how many kids are there.  We meet once a week, but being homeless means these kids are transient.  They might move on to transitional housing, or get kicked out because they broke a rule.  There was a group of about four kids for a while that was there pretty regularly.  We actually came up with a cast of characters and a plot line and some of them started writing little stories about the world we’d built before they moved on to other things.

Mostly it seems the kids like to write poetry.  Some of it is pretty good stuff.  Here’s part of one that I remember because it was so telling about the life the poet had led:

The weak are weeded out by the strong
The vicious cycle continually on
We enjoy the dance and song but
Nobody forgets when we do wrong 

Where do you see yourself in the future, personally and professionally?

            Well, I can’t say I see myself as a little old lady walking the streets of Chicago and working for Winds all my life.  Not that that would be so bad.  But a small paper that’s trying to call attention to social issues like that doesn’t get a lot of big money behind it, so I’m sure there will be another job after this one and another after that.

            I don’t think I’ll ever entirely get away from the streets, though, even if I end up living in a different city somewhere.  Even if never write another story about it.  Like, I just met this girl, Snow Ramirez.  She’s half Mexican and half Yakama Indian and she’s convinced her little brother is in danger from the psychiatrist he’s seeing.  Am I going to not listen to her story if I suddenly stop being a reporter?  No way.  I see the people standing on the street corner now, thank God, and I’m going keep helping any way I can. 

Is there any special person in your life right now?

            You mean as in boyfriend?  Well, I’ve had my share. I was even married for an, oh, so brief time.  But no, I’m not really looking even.  My friend Keisha likes to razz me about this guy who works for Night Moves.  He’s a counselor and a case worker and a great guy.  We work together really well, Jack and Keisha and me.  But romantic?  Nah, I’m not looking right now, like I said.

Why was it important to you to help us promote this book Painted Black by Debra R. Borys?

            Deb’s got the right idea about how important it is to make the invisible people visible.  I try to do that with my column, and she uses fiction for the same purpose.  It’s kind of a great and sneaky way to get a message across, when you think about it.  So here you’re reading a suspense-filled story, getting all wrapped up in the lives of these characters who jump right off the page at you like they’re real or something.  And when you put the book down, chances are the next time a kid in a ragged coat asks you for some spare change, you find yourself thinking, why he reminds me an awful lot of that character in the book I just read—I wonder what his story is.  And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

{Nods head in agreement}  Thanks so much for taking this time to talk with us today.  It’s been great visiting with you and finding out more about Deb’s book.


Former Chicagoan DEBRA R. BORYS spent eight years volunteering with homeless on the streets of both Chicago and Seattle. She is a freelance writer and the author of several published short stories. Currently she is working on a second novel in the Jo Sullivan series which combines mystery and suspense with the reality of throw away youth striving to survive. 10% of the author profits will be donated to homeless services, including The Night Ministry in Chicago, in appreciation for the work they do in helping the homeless. Ms Borys encourages anyone who reads her books to also support any program working to eliminate homelessness. More information can be found at and

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Imbroglio by Alana Woods : Interview & Excerpt

What drives a person to extreme actions? Actions that others, if they knew, would have difficulty understanding.

What's in Noel Valentine's past that impels her to save a stranger's life knowing that it could endanger hers?

In hot tropical Australia Noel pulls one man from a burning car but is unable to save his passenger.

When the stranger she saved shows up back in her home town of Sydney and asks for a place to stay, why does Noel agree? Especially given he could have been an assassin hired to kill his passenger. Especially given that she's pitching to win as a client the medical technology company that seems to be central to whatever is going on. A company that both assassin and victim had connections with. A company with questionable markets and equally questionable front men.

Imbroglio is an understatement for the mess Noel very quickly finds herself in.

Something grazed her leg. It took a long moment for the fact to register because she was almost comatose.
  Blinking in the sun she turned instinctively away from its blinding light. Where she was came next. Then why she was there.
  Something had grazed her leg.
  She came fully alert, her heart suffocating in its small confines.
  She grabbed for her feet and wilted with relief that they were both still attached. She ducked her face. No blood. No marks.
  Needing air almost immediately she whipped her head up and, whimpering, craned around for the signs. Nothing. Panicking she ducked under again and twisted, waiting to see it, waiting for the connection, anticipating the pain, dreading the death.
  Please no, she kept praying, please no, not like that.
  Waiting for it her fear turned to dutch courage and she forced her fingers wide, making claws of her hands. Come on, she screamed in her mind, I dare you. I’ll bloody well gouge your eyes out before you get me. Where are you? Come on. But no predator answered the challenge. Whatever it was that had brushed past, it had not been interested. She was alone. The birds had left. No ships were steaming to her rescue. And the sharks weren’t hungry.
  The shock revitalised her. The shore became possible again, with one difference. She had remembered there were more dangers in the sea than drowning. Now she swam with that constant in mind and the sun, risen in the east, beating on her head, her arms and legs bloated weighty appendages she could have done without.
  She floundered some time after that, with the sun high in the sky.
  ‘Come on, baby, swim to William.’
  She blinked. She couldn’t focus, the sun’s reflection on the water making of it a shining heaving sheet of bubbling glass.
  ‘Come on, baby, I’m right here.’
  She shielded her eyes and sank past her nose. Water flooded in and she retched and spat and gasped and cupped her fingers over her eyes. He was standing not six feet away, rising and dipping on the waves. As she stared he held out a hand. ‘I died for you, Noel. Come with me.’
  ‘You didn’t.’
  He put his head to one side, hurt. ‘I loved you. And for that I died. Your fault, Noel. Make it up to me.’
  ‘No!  Your fault ... your fault ...’ She flailed away from him, ‘... your fault.’
  ‘You’re going the wrong way. I’ll be waiting.’
  The wrong way? She looked back. He was gone. He hadn’t been real, couldn’t really have been standing on water. Just her conscience ... your fault ... your fault. Wrong way. She slitted her eyes and peered waterily up at the sun. How could she tell? It was midday and she couldn’t tell the way until it dropped. She saw William again, bobbing up and down some distance away, smiling. She turned from him and splashed away.
  The sun had shifted and had her face in a vice, leeching the skin from wet moistureless flesh. Her eyes were swollen, she could barely see, then the sharks came. Circling at first, gauging their prey, accommodating her frantic efforts to get away. The circle was wide and as she wondered if she could swim through the gaps more and more joined the ring until they were tip to tail. Then they began to close the circle, slowly, ritually, and as it tightened they formed two, then three, outer rings. Their fins loomed large the closer they circled. She stopped swimming and watched the fins move in, appalled, fascinated. Like a ballet troupe, as one they altered their course and turned inward. In their rush they grew huge, obliterating the sun, looming like tankers, casting her into black shadows. Then they lunged and she screamed and waited for the pain, rearing waist high clear of the water as they clashed.

Tell us about your current release.

Imbroglio is a thriller with espionage undertones, but essentially it’s about a young woman who saves a man from a burning car and becomes entangled in what she realizes is a very messy and illegal situation.

 Tell us about your next release.

I have a draft and a title: Dragline. It’s a corporate crime thriller and as the title suggests, it’s about spiders.

So far my published novels have been thrillers.  The first, Automaton, was a legal thriller. The title is legal parlance, at least in Australia, for someone who has no memory of the crime they’re accused of committing.

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

Definitely not! I figure that if I’m lucky enough to get a book out there and noticed, I want everyone to know it was me who wrote it!

At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was reading a bodice ripper—do you remember them—and it was so bad I threw it down in disgust and said, ‘I could do better than that’ and my husband said, ‘Why don’t you then.’ I have to say that twelve weeks later when I was still writing he asked, ‘Haven’t you finished it yet?’ That was thirty years ago. What he asks nowadays is ‘When are you going to start making some money?

How do you react to a bad review of your book?

First I get indignant. Then I want to cry. Then I think ‘What the hell! It doesn’t matter.’ The good ones vastly outnumber the bad. Mind you, if I think the criticism is valid I’ll remember it. Constructive criticism is useful; bad mouthing is not.

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?

I agonize over names. Silly, I know, but until I hit upon one that I think reflects the person I’m not happy. I think I want them to be appealing so the reader is immediately taken with, or at least interested in, the character. That’s important because my characters aren’t always immediately likeable.

Who should play you in a film of your life?

Meryl Streep, of course.

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?

I don’t do it consciously but my daughters say they can see me in some of my characters' mannerisms.

Do you have a Website or Blog?

I do. My blog is on the website. It’s

What are your favorite TV shows?

Big Bang Theory. Love it.

What group did you hang out with in high school?

I was a loner. I feel incredibly sorry for any kid that finds it difficult to make friends.

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?

I’ve had a lot of feedback about my first book Automaton but none of it in the form of questions. Just praise and encouragement to keep feeding them books. I’m hoping for the same with Imbroglio.

I was born in Leicester in the UK. When I was four my family immigrated to South Australia—I was what was called a £10 Pom. In 1980 I moved with my husband John and children to Canberra to work with the Commonwealth Court Reporting Service. For most of my fulltime working career I was a professional editor and ended up as Director Publishing of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. In 2004 John and I moved to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland thinking living by the sea would be perfect. But we missed the kids so now we’re back Canberra. We also spend time each year in the UK where our eldest daughter now lives.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monogamy Twist by Nancy Jardine: Character Interview & Excerpt

Luke Salieri thought he'd seen everything. But when he inherits a dilapidated English estate from a woman he's never heard of—and with quirky conditions besides—it’s a mystery he wants resolved immediately. There must be a woman out there who can meet his needs. But how far will he have to go to persuade her?

Lucrative employment for a whole year? The job of researching the old house and its fantastic contents is enticing – but Rhia Ashton can’t see herself living with gorgeous Luke Salieri and not wanting his body as well. Can she live and sleep with him for a whole year and then walk away? Rhia has her own ideas about what will make it worth her while.

Rating: Sensual
Page Count: 270
Word Count: 74,500
Print ISBN: 1-60154-965-2

They swept up toward the now overgrown turning circle to the side of the main house—a wide loop that would have originally been for a coach and horses. The travelers would have spilled out of the coaches beside the archway that led round the back to the stable block. From the archway the honored guests would have walked up the few steps to the main terrace and the imposing front porch.
“Are you a gardener?” Luke avoided the worst of the potholes and debris that littered the long disused turning area. Though focused on the terrain he kept the conversation going. “Are you personally responsible for that riot of color in your back garden?” He flicked a swift glance her way. “I hadn’t considered that you might do all the garden maintenance yourself.”
“When I was little I learned a lot from my grandfather. He had a large garden.” Her captivating grin bounced back at him. “As a young child I’d plant seeds during my Easter vacation visits to my grandparents. Then I’d always be delighted with what had magically grown when I returned for my school summer holidays. Naturally I had no inkling of how much work went into the growing in between times.”
“But over the years you learned that magic has to be worked at and encouraged, didn’t you?” He brought the car to a halt and killed the engine.
“Oh yes! I was taught to do the hard graft as well. My fingers got very dirty.”
“Would you recognize other plants in this garden?”
“Yes to that too!”
“You’re very confident.” He grabbed a small backpack from the rear seat and slung it across his shoulder. “Wait till I open the door,” he cautioned. “I’ll check what the surface is like for those devastating heels. I don’t want you to break an ankle just getting out of the car.”
Rhia accepted his hand out, mindful of where to place her feet, relinquishing his touch with regret when he let go to release Thor from the rear. The huge dog bounded out and made off down the stretch of lawn, as usual treating it as his own playground.
“I should admit at this point, I’ve had a lot more opportunities than you to find out what’s in this garden. When I’ve walked Thor here I’ve identified a lot of the plantings; others I’ve looked up when I’ve gone home just because it annoys me not to be able to name them.”
“Well now, there’s another advantage to you having been here before. You can find out why I was willed Greywood, you can research the house, and you can also get yourself involved in the garden restoration.”
Luke seemed increasingly satisfied with the idea she should get some pleasure out of helping to restore the whole property, not just the house itself during their contracted year. The appeal was mounting for Rhia.
“I’d love to.” She looked around at the overgrown wilderness that was meant to be formal borders and edging for the wide sweep of unkempt lawn. “It’s been easy to imagine what this garden was like about thirty years ago, and well before that too, though many parts of the estate are strangled with serious weeds and would need lots of effort. Too much for one person.”
Rhia caught Luke’s gleam of amusement in his eyes and his soft chuckle. “Ah. Silly me.” She giggled at his humor. “I guess you’re planning on an army of gardeners?”
“Whatever it will take to get it in shape. And if that’s a huge team—so be it.”
His arm snaked around her shoulders, holding her in a light sensuous grasp, as he turned her and pointed alongside to the walled garden. She was so close to him, an i an nvoluntary shiver of anticipation rippled through her.
“So what would you do with that?”
“From the contours that are still discernible, the walled kitchen garden over there I believe was replanted in Victorian times.” She flushed recalling that was the precise place where she’d first spied on him a few days before. The memories were magnified by virtue of the fact he now stood with those powerful biceps around her. Embarrassed she might be, but no way would she move out of the heaven that was his arms! Swallowing a little, she got her act together and concentrated on answering his enquiry. “It’s a total nightmare, but it would be a magnificent project to undertake its restoration. The scale of it could comfortably feed and flower the whole house, which was what it was designed for, of course.”
“What would you do with this terrace?” Luke turned her around a little and embraced her from behind, his arms loose over her shoulders yet imprisoning her tight to his body. Rhia was in no doubt about his seduction now. Again a delicious little shiver rippled. Sometimes anticipation was all it was cracked up to be.

Interviewing my hero from MONOGAMY TWIST – Luke Salieri.  Luke, it's great to have you here.  I'm so excited for the opportunity to find out more about you. Are you ready to start?

{Luke nods and smiles at me}

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

Hey! I’m a businessman. Why would I do any dreaming of travelling? Back and forth from England to my companies in Brisbane, Australia, is pretty regular every couple of months. I wasn’t in the habit of taking much in the way of vacation breaks, but I’m now thinking that whisking my Rhia off to some totally uninhabited island in the Caribbean, or even to the South Pacific is a great idea. There would be no old houses to distract her…only ME!

What do you think makes a good story?

A bit of action that gets the blood stirring, some good old loving and a beautiful woman.

Tell us about your family.

I never had any siblings. Never really had any parents either, come to think about it, though they only died when I was around 21. They were there in the background, but it was a succession of nannies that brought me up.  Poor little rich kid? That big sob story? That’s me!

What was the scariest moment of your life?

Probably when I realized I’d fallen in love with Rhia. You might say why was that scary? I thought back then that she didn’t love me and was only staying on with me because she’d signed that darned contract! I’d never wooed the woman, or given her proper gifts, or really appreciated her. I knew then it wasn’t going to be easy to persuade her that I loved more than her physical body; I loved everything about her, and wanted to love her for ever. But I wasn’t sure she’d believe me and that was scary.

What are you passionate about these days?

I’m passionate about my work BUT now much more passionate about the woman I know I can’t do without in my life.  She’s the most competent, most beautiful woman I’ve ever known, or will ever know. She makes me relax and unwind, and just passionately enjoy being with her.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

You know I’m getting to sound a bit obsessed, here, because that would definitely be Rhia. If I’d known how much I’d come to love that woman there is no way I’d have got to know her in the way I did. I’d have romanced her so she would NEVER have had any doubts about me. 
Who should play you in a film? 

Mmm…that’s a good one. I’ve been told I’m a sort of a Clive Owen Type with a slightly fatter face! Not sure I see myself that way though.

What would we find under your bed?

Probably Thor! He’s the craziest dog ever. He’s not supposed to be in our bedroom, but if we don’t look out that massive Irish Wolf hound belonging to Rhia is under our bed before we know it. He’d be in it if given the chance …but no way is that happening!

Tell us about your current release.

My current release, Monogamy Twist, is a contemporary history mystery set in Yorkshire, England. Luke Salieri inherits a country house from a woman he’s never heard of but it’s got big conditions attached. He has to be married and live in it for a year to fulfill the bequest conditions. Naturally he’s not married. It just so happens he persuades a woman he’d never met before and coincidentally she just happens to be a historian who can help him find out his mystery benefactress and help him restore the house to former glory. 
Tell us about your next release.

Take Me Now will be released by The Wild Rose Press on Aug 3rd 2012. It’s the tale of Nairn who’s recently been in a bike spill. He needs a pilot/chauffeur to ferry him all around the world to keep his business flowing. He also needs a new PA. In steps Aela Cameron, a woman of many talents who can fly his jet and floatplane, pilot his catamaran and also has sufficient office skills to help. She only wants a temporary job for a month or so-Nairn finds he wants to keep her a lot longer! This is a fun romp as they also hunt out the saboteur who has been harming Nairn’s business, and has also caused his accident. Aela finds herself under attack as well but she’s a feisty lass who copes with all the incidents that befall her.


Nancy has lived in Scotland most of her life with the exception of 3 years when she lived in Holland. Teaching 11-12 year olds was her profession, though Nancy now spends her time writing contemporary and historical romance novels, and novels for children aged 9-12years.
The picturesque ‘castle country’ of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is a fabulous area to live in, her daughters and sons-in-law living nearby. She has one gorgeous (yes, she’s totally biased) granddaughter of 6 months.
Reading, ancestry research, and doing exciting fun things with her family are favorite pastimes. She tends real flowers and some spectacular weeds in her garden…when she’s in the mood for fresh air!

Website  |  Blog  |  Amazon  |  Goodreads  |  Facebook

One lucky winner will get a signed, Print copy of the book. This giveaway is open to readers 18 years of age or older and is open globally.

The Wild Rose Press gave Monogamy Twist a Champagne Rose sensual rating that veers on the ‘hot’ side.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fat Assassins by Marita Fowler: Character Interview & Excerpt

Southern style sweet-potatoes Shasta and Ulyssa have stuck together through thick and thin since their escape from third grade fat camp. But on one dark day, they both find themselves unemployed. A hazardous job hunt sees them turn down egg harvesting, drug dealing and phone sex before they settle for an exterminator job. Confusing mafia lingo leaves the girls thinking they’re being interviewed to cope with a rodent infestation. Confident that they can handle the job, they oversell their skills and demand half payment up front to seal the deal. Skeptical at first, the mob boss decides to hire this unlikely pair when he mistakes their attitude for professional stoicism.
The girls are shocked when presented with a target profile and an envelope full of cash. They want out, but it’s too late. The mob doesn’t allow do-overs. And certainly not when they’re whacking one of their own. The clock is ticking and when the body count is still zero after multiple attempts, the boss decides to bring in additional assassins to finish the job and tie up loose ends. And the girls just happen to be one of those loose ends.

Kindle version is FREE on MARCH 27th!!

Laurie: Welcome Shasta and Ulyssa! Thanks for stopping by today.

Ulyssa: No problem.

Shasta: Thanks for having us.

Laurie: Well, Let’s jump right in, OK? I have so many burning questions!  Who were your heroes growing up?

Ulyssa: Wonder Woman! We used to spend hours spinning in circles wearing our Wonder Woman underoos, pretending we were superhereos. Plus, she had those awesome bracelets that could deflect bullets. We used to throw rocks at each other and practice deflecting ‘em with our wrists.

 Shasta: Remember how we used to chase cars down the street and jump in front of them, grabbing the bumper to stop them with our Wonder Woman strength. And that one time you bellyflopped straight on the hood, hugging the windshield and screaming “They’re getting away!”.

Ulyssa: Oh, gawd. I forgot about that... scared the crap outta that elderly couple. They stopped driving on the road past our house after that day.
Laurie: Was that the scariest moment in your life? If not, what was?

Shasta: Shoot that was nothing. We used to do crazy stuff like that all the time.

Ulyssa: We almost died in a house fire. That was probably the scariest moment. We were having a slumber party at our friend, Cara’s house when the trailer caught on fire.

Shasta: Well, to be fair, we started the fire. We were trying to roast marshmallows on a kerosene lamp after Cara’s parents went to bed. We accidentally knocked the lamp over and the shag carpet combusted.

Ulyssa: Nobody got hurt, but her parents moved away shortly after that...they thought we were bad influences and that was the end of our Charlie’s Angels club.

 Laurie: What do you love most about your hometown, Nitro WV? Have you ever thought about leaving?

Shasta: (sigh) Deputy Hodde.

Ulyssa: Folks in Nitro are survivors. We’re a scrappy bunch who won’t back away from a tough situation. There are a few snobbish folks, but for the most part, everybody would give ya the shirt off their back. That’s what I love about our town. I’m pretty happy here with no plans to leave, but I would like take a vacation to a foreign country.

 Laurie: What country would like to visit on vacation?

Shasta: Italy. It would be cool to tour some vineyards, stomp some grapes and learn how they get wine into the box.

Ulyssa: Ireland. Irish guys have sexy accents and tough attitudes. Maybe I could find me an Irish badboy, like the guys from Boondock Saints.

 Laurie: So, you’re big movie buffs. What do you think of the zombie craze? Are zombies realistic?

Ulyssa:  Lord, I hope not. Cause they’d be looking at us like we look at Chinese buffets.

 Shasta: I don’t like scary movies. I have a good imagination and freak myself out too easily. When we watched the Exorcism of Emily Rose, I woke up at 4AM every morning convinced there was a demon in the trailer.

Ulyssa: I regret talking her into watching it too ‘cause when she got freaked out, she turned on every light in the trailer and started vacuuming to scare off any evil spirits.

 Laurie: What kind of movie do you like?
Shasta:  Romantic comedies, but action films are a close second.

Ulyssa:  I love good crime movies. The courtroom scenes are the best.

Laurie: I love good crime dramas and action movies, too! Well, I know you both have places to be, but thanks for stopping by and talking to us today. It’s been great finding out a little more about you and I look forward to reading about your future adventures.

Fat Assassins will be free today (27 March)!  Get your copy now

Marita Fowler is the author of Fat Assassins - the first in a series of size positive adventure books.

Marita lives in Virginia with her husband, David. 

She has worked in the computer and security industry since 1992. While she continues her professional cybersecurity career at Department of Homeland Security - she enjoys writing in her free time.

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